Parent Spotlight: Angeline Schellenberg

Angeline and her husband Tony are members of the HCM Parents, Partners, Prayer group.  Together they are raising two children on the autism spectrum.   When reading Angeline’s book, it is evident to see her deep love for her children.  She honours them with words that turn even her most frustrating moments into inspiring reflections.                                                                   

This fall, several members of our Parents group, met at McNally Robinson’s to celebrate with Angeline and her family, at the launch of her new book.  Hearing Angeline read her poetry is a gift to the soul.  Take a moment to read  a brief interview with her regarding her writing.

You write about your family, and specifically your children.  Disabilities have  definitely impacted your family and your poetry seems to be therapeutic.  How has writing helped you?

 

After I’ve written about a difficult experience, the poetry becomes a filter between me and the dark memory. When I look back, instead of seeing the pain, I just see the poem – and the joy I found in writing it.  I can also find more grace for myself and my children in the middle of a challenge (such as a lipsticked bathtub or Sunday morning meltdown) when I remember I can write about it. Thinking “This will make a great poem!” has gotten me though many messy moments.

 

What do you hope readers, whose lives are impacted by disability, will find in your poems?

 

The truth that, in their fears and questions, they are not alone. And that no matter how different their family looks from the ones they see on the soccer field or TV, the connection they share is precious.

 

What do you hope readers, who haven’t experienced disability, will learn/realize through your poetry?

 

I hope readers see that regardless of their labels, every person is unique and     valuable. That despite its share of rough spots, autism is not a tragedy. That no matter how their own lives are different from what they expected, joy is possible.

 

What supports are important to you as a mom of children with disabilities, and where do you find them?

 

I need friends who will listen without judgment: who cry with me, laugh with me, pray for me, maybe even bring me chocolate. Many, but not all, of these friends are other parents of children with disabilities. I find them at church, online, through my writing, and through Hope Centre.

 

 What does the HCM PPP (Parents Partners Prayer) mean to you?

 

I have attended support groups that succumbed to competitiveness and negativity, so I was nervous about joining. But I’m so glad I did! At Parents Partners Prayer, I’ve only ever felt acceptance and encouragement. Our situations and backgrounds are all very different, but our love for our children, our need for community, and our belief in the power of prayer bind us together.

Parents~Partners~Prayer group meets the second Tuesday of every month.  The heart of this group is to be a place of mutuality and safety; a haven where parents can come along side one another, share faith, pray for each other, learn together  and support one another by pooling resources.

 

Angeline’s book, Tell Them It Was Mozart, is available directly through her, via Hope Centre Ministries for $20.00 (plus shipping if applicable).  It is also available online through Amazon.ca

 

%d bloggers like this: